While the “Walking Dead” social game continues to remain under wraps, it appears that it’s going to be released in April, and will have a two part structure which involves establishing a camp, and then going “ranging” for supplies.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m unfamiliar with the “Walking Dead” books, just the TV series, so I’ll just be approaching this one from that angle.
There’s still not a lot to go on in terms of evaluating the “transmedia” content of this extension, but so far I like the way they’re taking “Walking Dead” to Facebook. It appears that they’ve found a way to “Farmville-ize” the series, breaking the world down into a “farm” and “quest” type situation.
Like the “Heartland Ranch” game that CBC launched last fall for their show, “Heartland,” on Facebook, the “Walking Dead” social game feels like a good fit for the series, as a way for fans to build their own little part of “Walking Dead” narrative, while also using the addictive properties of social gaming to draw in friends into the experience. Unlike “Heartland Ranch,” the “Walking Dead” game should include a high amount of carnage.
I do wonder if the original cast of the series will be appearing in the game… I can see them appearing to give advice to new players, and maybe even offering up some challenges. I also like how this plays nicely with themes explored in season two of “Walking Dead,” where the characters talk about the challenges of surviving on a farm, and the dangers of looking for supplies.
The only question I do have, is that will the “Walking Dead” audience take to a Facebook game like “Heartland” fans did to their ranches. “Walking Dead” is a very “grown up” show with gore and violence and death, and I wonder if that will present some kind of incongruity between looking at baby pictures and motivational posters one minute in your Facebook feed, then jumping into a zombie game the next. Or, are the people who use Facebook on the regular and play Facebook games the same people that watch “Walking Dead”? I think there will be more than a few, judging by the excitement on the game’s Facebook page so far.